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Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(6): 3114-3119, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526431


Current results do not provide conclusive evidence on the effect of BCG vaccination on COVID-19 alone or in combination with other factors. To address this limitation, in this study we used a citizen science initiative on the COVID-19 pandemic to collect data worldwide during 2 October 2020-30 October 2020 (1,233 individuals) in a structured way for analysing factors and characteristics of affected individuals in relation to BCG vaccination. For the first time, the results of our study suggested that vaccination with BCG may increase the risk for COVID-19 at certain age, particularly in individuals vaccinated at childhood. Childhood BCG vaccination increased the likelihood of being diagnosed with COVID-19 fivefold in COVID-19 low-incidence countries and threefold in high-incidence countries. A reasonable explanation for this effect is the activation of certain innate immunity mechanisms associated with inflammatory reactions. These factors should be considered when analysing the risks associated with this global pandemic.

COVID-19 , Citizen Science , Animals , BCG Vaccine , COVID-19/veterinary , Child , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/veterinary
mBio ; 12(1)2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066819


Bats host many viruses pathogenic to humans, and increasing evidence suggests that rotavirus A (RVA) also belongs to this list. Rotaviruses cause diarrheal disease in many mammals and birds, and their segmented genomes allow them to reassort and increase their genetic diversity. Eighteen out of 2,142 bat fecal samples (0.8%) collected from Europe, Central America, and Africa were PCR-positive for RVA, and 11 of those were fully characterized using viral metagenomics. Upon contrasting their genomes with publicly available data, at least 7 distinct bat RVA genotype constellations (GCs) were identified, which included evidence of reassortments and 6 novel genotypes. Some of these constellations are spread across the world, whereas others appear to be geographically restricted. Our analyses also suggest that several unusual human and equine RVA strains might be of bat RVA origin, based on their phylogenetic clustering, despite various levels of nucleotide sequence identities between them. Although SA11 is one of the most widely used reference strains for RVA research and forms the backbone of a reverse genetics system, its origin remained enigmatic. Remarkably, the majority of the genotypes of SA11-like strains were shared with Gabonese bat RVAs, suggesting a potential common origin. Overall, our findings suggest an underexplored genetic diversity of RVAs in bats, which is likely only the tip of the iceberg. Increasing contact between humans and bat wildlife will further increase the zoonosis risk, which warrants closer attention to these viruses.IMPORTANCE The increased research on bat coronaviruses after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) allowed the very rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2. This is an excellent example of the importance of knowing viruses harbored by wildlife in general, and bats in particular, for global preparedness against emerging viral pathogens. The current effort to characterize bat rotavirus strains from 3 continents sheds light on the vast genetic diversity of rotaviruses and also hints at a bat origin for several atypical rotaviruses in humans and animals, implying that zoonoses of bat rotaviruses might occur more frequently than currently realized.

Chiroptera/virology , Rotavirus Infections/transmission , Rotavirus Infections/virology , Rotavirus/genetics , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Diarrhea/virology , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Horses , Humans , Metagenomics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification